Matthew Berry is the host of ESPN’s Emmy Award–winning show Fantasy Football Now. His first book, the current best-seller Fantasy Life, profiles several hard-core devotees of fantasy sports.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis (Norton, $16). With sports, you’ve got to look at statistics all the time. But what’s so brilliant about Moneyball is the way Michael Lewis tells the stories behind the stats. It’s not a numbers book; it’s a book about the people who use those numbers. It resonated with me in a big way.
Private Parts by Howard Stern (Gallery, $41). I’m a huge Howard Stern fan, but even if you don’t appreciate his edgy sense of humor, you’ve got to give him credit for being an unbelievably smart businessman. His memoir brilliantly mixes stories from his radio show with his rise from working as a small-town morning DJ to national fame.
Live From New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller (Back Bay, $17). This 2002 book about Saturday Night Live is told from several perspectives: the writers’, the producers’, the performers’. I can’t imagine the work that went into weaving all of these stories together to make a cohesive history of the show. You won’t find a book that’s more fun to read.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Harcourt, $9). My all-time favorite book has something for everyone: romance, action, danger, revenge, justice, comedy. Goldman’s novel transports you to a completely different world, but you totally buy in because he’s exploring such universal themes.
The Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. Anything Harlan Coben writes is a must-read for me, but I especially love his Myron Bolitar series. Myron’s a sports agent, so the world of sports takes center stage. An underlying theme in all of Coben’s books, however, is the lengths to which people will go to protect their families.
The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30). As a kid, I loved the Curious George books. And to this day I’m still fascinated by them. No joke, my office is covered in Curious George memorabilia. My parents used to call me Curious George because I was always asking so many questions, a trait that served me well as I was writing my own book.